Friday, August 15, 2008

Whatta Trip

Some photos are owed, and I'll get around to that....

Friday, I packed, organized, cleaned, told the boys they were loved, and prepared for the journey.

Saturday, cleaned a bit more compulsively, packed more, and headed for the airport. Travel to PA was good. The first flight, IAH to PHL, was good. Long, but easy enough for dog & human. the second flight, I felt like I was in the middle of a family reunion. Each trip teaches me more about how uncivilized people can be out in public, I swear. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR SHOES ON DURING THE FLIGHT IF YOUR FEET STINK! For the Love of ManKind! NASTY! Lady sat beside me, flipping in and out of her shoes, the fumes almost as foul as a trash pile. Crying out loud.. I didn't deserve that stench! Happy to arrive in PIT in one piece, late in the evening.

Sunday, Mom & I startled Dad at the camp with a visit he didn't anticipate. Happy Birthday Daddy, your baby came home. We spent that day relaxing, sleeping, watching the camp fire. Allie-dog was a goof, startled by all the surprises, all the scents, the reminders that other types of animals lived there.

Monday, I adventured to a trail riding facility, and Pebbles the "almost 30" Appy mare took me on a nice wooded rocky walking adventure. When we pulled up to the place, first thing I looked at, were feet. No hooves, no happy horses. I watched each of the horses for disposition, paid close attention to their overall body condition (all were chunky & happy), and went to register. A mom scared the staff and her small daughter with "falling off the trail horse at other facilities" stories. I laughed out loud, because if the mom wanted to encourage her kid to ride, horror riding stories wasn't the trick. They chose a half hour ride, me, the hour. Why go all that way and only ride a half-hour? As the guide introduced each of the horses, calling out their names, I listened carefully to age & breed. As Pebbles was identified as the "older Appaloosa mare that everyone picks on in the herd", I knew I had the horse. "That one!" I hollered, and her ears perked happy as he untied her, and said to her, "Okay Pebbles, it's your turn, out alone with Comanche & me."

The guide was chatty, the trail was rocky & muddy in spots, and the horses enjoyed every minute. Pebbles tried me by seeing if I'd let her eat on the trail. I didn't, but instead thumped with both legs, and a gentle tug on the bit. She quickly figured out that wasn't going to work out, and behaved angelically. She let me direct her around some mud, and her ears said, "Lady, this is great! I have a leader! Been a while since somebody bright rode me." I felt satisfied with that, as she wandered up & down the steep hillsides, only sliding on a rock once. I love Appaloosas... I really do. If Chewie and I ever part company ...... It'll be an Appy in the barn.

Tuesday, the family scampered to a clothing store in Warren, PA. Bought some "dress up for church" clothes, gotta latte in a really neat little shop, and headed for camp. Ran off to a park attraction (Kinzua dam, pictures to follow sometime). Mom and I went to the park where I rode Pebbles, grabbed a few more photos, and then to a tourist souvenir shop, and I snatched up a coffee mug for my collection, and some moccasins that are to die for. Deerskin leather, and incredibly comfortable. ooh.. nice shoes!

Wednesday, we headed for home, had a dinner-out celebration for Dad's birthday, and cleaned up in preparation for the trip back to TX.

Thursday, all day travel.

Friday is here, and I'm glad to be home. Through some emails and texts, it seems Farrier Mike & I are back on speaking terms, socially getting along. Can't say the same for Robin, as she's still not trying to initiate conversation. I'm not going to waste calories on it. Chewie is still off for no riding, and Romeo is on light-duty until those shoenail holes grow out.

I'm resolving to learn more about barefoot trimming for Romeo - make him a more solid horse barefoot, and perhaps learn to trim & rasp him down myself. It could happen... If I can learn it on Romeo, maybe Chewie has a shot of growing out those evil front heels & being happy barefoot at least sometime of the year.

I'm off to get some chores done, grocery shopping, and all things necessary to be back at the house alone again... I'm responsible again for every calorie I consume, and every niblit that goes into my body. MacKenzie will certainly be happy to be home, later today. I'm happy to be back by myself, make my own choices, and keep my crazy life moving.

Vacation has taught me... I don't sit still well. That half-done word search puzzle book, two read magazines, and one full read book are evidence.

Cheers, all. It's good to be back.


fssunnysd said...

Welcome back! Sounds like a great vacation. After all the horror stories of trail operations over on Fugly's blog, it's good to hear from someone with personal experience at a respectable place.

I think I've read somewhere that shoe removal periodically helps with contracted heels(?) Or is that another old wives tale?

There's an interesting post over at the Thoughtful Horseman that describes the differences between trimming for shoes & trimming for, well, not shoes. I'd never given much thought to the fact that there would be that much difference in trimming for a horse getting shoes as a horse not getting shoes - although on the surface it makes sense.

Jennifer said...

Nifty. Going to check it out.

Yes yes I know... trail riding places are not the nicest places. Some starve the horses, some mistreat them, and I'm sure they all don't eat as great as the Olympic horses do. They also aren't put under the same pressure as Olympic horses. These guys were tied to a post, they were all lined up standing on concrete, but not one looked unhappy. In fact, I was told Pebbles is the first one in for breakfast in the mornings, and she gets ticked if she doesn't get a chance to be ridden. The days she stands in her stall or in the paddock, she gets grouchy and is a b! to ride the first passenger the next day.

All looked fat & happy... nobody looked upset to be doing their job, aside from the occasionally pinned ears, upset that somebody was standing too close to somebody else. The guide seemed horse savvy enough to know when somebody was too lame to ride, or needed a break.